Haugesund, June 27th 2015
Okay, this is actually not one of those sarcastic attempts on being funny. I’m instead going to share a rather uncomfortable experience I had this weekend.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m currently working on a documentary, so this afternoon I was out doing some aerial photography at the local track. I sent my camera-drone up as usual, and with the controller in my hands I kept my eyes on the drone for the most part.
However, soon after take-off I noticed a person standing about 100ft/30m away from me, but didn’t really think twice about it – because I usually get lots of weird looks when I fly a loud little helicopter-thing above people’s heads. When I land the drone a few minutes later, the person gets closer.
It’s a big ethnic-looking man in his 50s. He approaches me, and when I see his face I realize that he’s a regular customer at the grocery store I work at. He sais “Hi, I haven’t seen you around in a long time.” I was surprised by his friendly tone. Then he asked a few questions about work, and about the camera, before I let him take a look at it – while it was still recording.
But before I knew it, he grabbed his arms around me, and gave me what I would call an abnormally tight hug. I was thinking: **Nothing too strange about that.. Maybe it’s just a Pakistani way of greeting??** But when the hug lasted way longer than I’d prefer, I tried to back off – without much luck. As the big guy he was, he held me tight and leaned over to give me three to four wet cheek-kisses on each side. His unshaved stubbles around his mouth made the whole thing pretty unappealing… to say the least. **Hmm, this is extremely awkward, but perhaps it’s considered “normal” in his culture.. so don’t freak out just yet.**
Then he just stared at me for a moment, and by the time I noticed how incredibly stinky his breath was, I saw him aiming for my lips. I then managed to somehow twist my face away just in time, but he still held me real tight. In the seconds that followed next, he said that “We should …. ” – Well, he didn’t use words to express the second part of that sentence, but rather thrusting-motions with the “area below his waist.” I could feel his fat belly pressed up against mine, and his hand suddenly ran down my back where he grabs my butt. I had had more than enough, so I literally forced myself away from him.
By the time that happened, I was not only shocked, but extremely angry. As a former martial artist I know that I could’ve made him regret his behavior if I had to, but I tried to control my temper and walk away from it without aggravating him any more than necessary.
Even though it was uncomfortable, I knew I’d be able to stop him before he went too far, so I’m not by any means traumatized by this experience. But as a true feminist, it just made me really angry! It’s not that tight hugs, wet cheek-kisses and butt-squeezing is so bad, but when it happens against a woman’s own will, that’s when I have a problem with it. It’s called sexual assault – and I have zero tolerance for that!
Luckily, it wasn’t dark and the track is a relatively open space, so I wasn’t worried he’d do anything horrific right there at that moment, but it still upset me, because what if this had happened to someone younger? Or someone smaller or someone who were unable to get away from him? I don’t know what his intentions were or what he’s capable of, but I thank God he didn’t do anything worse.
As I mentioned above, he took a look at my camera while it was still recording, so I do have a clear close-up photograph of him. I’ll give the police department a note, but after doing some research I found that he’s a father of four, and I choose therefore not to publish the photo here.
Anyway, enough feminist blasting from me tonight.
Be safe, be confident and stand up for yourself!
Bless you all,